Forrester's Western European Search Engine Marketing Forecast 2011 to 2016 is now out and one thing's clear, paid search spend will grow at a slower rate than historical averages as mobile and social become increasingly important to aid multi-channel "discovery."
It's not so much a case of paid search being less relevant, but that search and the process of "getting found" across channels has become more diverse with the advent of social media, growth in mobile search, and shifting budgets to SEO in response to rising cost-per-click (CPC) rates in mature European markets.
The last frontier for paid search? Interestingly, despite huge marketing cutbacks the troubled euro zone markets — Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain — maintain growth only just below Western European averages as brands in these markets shift budgets to search and focus on acquisition and return on investment.
Overall, interesting times are ahead for the search agency that can develop multi-channel marketing strategies or the more traditional digital agency which shores up it's search and discovery offering.
If you're looking for the how to do mobile and social in this space you can't go wrong with my colleague Shar VanBoskirk's reports "Mobile Search FAQs For Beginners" and "How To Integrate Search With Social Media."
[Image credit: Robert Scoble]